From that inauguration lip-synching debacle to her HBO documentary and dazzling Super Bowl halftime performance, Beyoncé has been on a heavy promotional run in the past few months. And yet, none of it included new music — until now. On Sunday (March 17), Mrs. Carter posted the track “Bow Down/I Been On” to her website.
Over a trippy instrumental courtesy of producer Hit-Boy, Bey lets her ego do all the talking as she ferociously talks herself up and spews demands. “I took my time to live my life but don’t think I’m just his little wife/ Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted/ This is my sh–,” she sings, before repetitively commanding, “Bow down, bitches.”
A little more than a minute into the clip, the tune seems to segue into the second song, “I Been On.” It’s another far cry from Bey’s usual glimmering pop&B formula, as the siren’s vocals are transformed, Houston chopped-and-screwed style. Word is that Bey reportedly worked on the track with R&B duo Planet VI, who are responsible for Rihanna’s equally gritty “Pour It Up.” And for those who prefer to hear the singer’s unaltered voice, her Beyhive have already switched up the pitch in the track to reveal the original vocals.
Artwork for “Bow Down” keeps in line with the song’s over-the-top ego. In front of a mantle full of awards and trophies, a preteen Beyoncé shares an innocent smile with the text “Bow Down” above her.
Fans may recognize “I Been On” from a tour advertisement for the U.K. leg of the Mrs. Carter World Tour, which was uploaded back in February. Attendees of Bey’s four-night run at Atlantic City’s Revel last year also unknowingly got a small taste of the now-unveiled tune when the singer used a small clip from “Bow Down” during her performance of “Countdown.”
Mega-producer The-Dream, who is working with Bey on the follow-up to her 2011 release 4, recently dished some goods on “RapFix Live.” “There’s no particular sound that I think we’re shooting for, we’re just trying to make music that feels good,” he said. “If you seen the HBO thing, which was great, we had been talking about doing something that showcases who she is and what she wants because we see those figures that are so out of the stratosphere,” he said.
What do you think of Bey’s new songs? Share your reviews in the comment section!